Becoming a Painter

What does a Painter do?

  • Painters apply paint or special Coatings
  • Paper Hangers apply wall coverings such as paper, fabric and plastics
  • Drywall finishers apply tape and finishes to previously hung gypsum wall board

Where do Painters work?

  • Bridges
  • Schools
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Industrial Projects
  • Homes

Am I Qualified?

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have manual dexterity
  • Good Eyesight and Color-Sense is preferable
  • Must be of good physical condition to perform the work required
  • Must have a sincere interest in the trade

What can I expect while training?

  • Program is approximately 4 years (2 years for Drywall Taper)
  • You must pass an aptitude test
  • On-the-job Training with an experienced Journeyman
  • Some travel may be required
  • Must attend an orientation
  • Attend school 1 day/week for 3 semesters (2 semesters for Drywall Taper)
  • Complete 3 evening school courses (2 evening courses for Drywall Taper)

The Story of Big Step, Inc.

The Big-Step outreach program was established to acquaint individuals with employment and career opportunities in the skilled trades. Big-Step is a major assistance program to help applicants upgrade their math, science, and other academic skills for a successful career in construction.

The overall goal of Big-Step is to provide greater skills to individuals striving for a career in the skilled trades. The majority of participants will be placed into higher skilled/higher paying jobs and apprenticeship occupations, once training and work experience has been achieved.


  • Recruit qualified individuals for apprenticeship training and careers.
  • Provide needs assessment and identify deficiencies clients may have; develop a corresponding action plan.
  • Provide apprenticeship test tutoring and other preparation services. Day and evening classes are available.
  • Place clients into on-the-job training with the intention of leading to construction related apprenticeships.
  • Place and assist clients into any classroom training necessary to prepare/place them into higher-paying employment opportunities.
  • Provide case management services to assist candidates to become indentured apprentices and/or retain construction-related employment.


Earl Buford, Executive Director
3841 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208
(414) 342-9787